The most common complaints about backflow covers revolve around aesthetics. The complaint is understandable; a nice-looking building is constructed and often a large shiny box is somewhere near the front of the building or often at the street entrance. What architect or building owner wouldn’t have something negative to say about this?
The right way to improve the view for the backflow cover is to provide landscaping. As a designer, this is important to think about, as:
1) The trend to get backflow preventers out of below-grade vaults for safety and health concerns continues to grow
2) More water jurisdictions are requiring the use of RPZ backflow preventers to provide the necessary level of safeguard to the drinking water if one of the check valves in the backflow preventer fails. The RPZ is not allowed in a below-grade vault.
Landscaping around the backflow cover makes sense. The building gets a nice landscaping package, the transformer is typically placed in a smart location and gets some landscaping, and the dumpster tends to be in the rear of the building with screening of some type. With a small amount of thought, the backflow cover can be smartly located and landscaped to blend in and become much more aesthetically pleasing.
Check out this short video and download the aesthetics guide for more ideas on how to improve the view for backflow covers.